The Retreat: A History
The Balcones Springs’ property was originally owned by ranchers Ted and Elvira Hiney. When the land was purchased twenty-five years ago, an old two-story ranch house, a storage barn, and a small cinder block building were the only structures on property. Shortly after purchasing the land, we began the long process of transforming the property into a year-round camp and retreat center where children and adults alike would be able to experience nature, spectacular sunsets off of terraces and verandas, an excess of outdoor activities, delicious food, and impeccable service from our energetic and happy-to-please staff. Although re-development of the property was “complete” long ago, Balcones Springs continues to transform, with new features and amenities being added each year. In May of 2018, a beautiful, two-story, covered blob deck was added to Lake Ted to keep campers and guests shaded and cool while they wait to “take the plunge” off of our inflatable blob.
Balcones Springs’ 250-acres consist of hiking trails, climbing walls, an equestrian arena, 70-acres of sports fields, a fitness center, a 10-acre spring-fed private lake, covered basketball and tennis courts, and a zip-line across the lake. The Retreat also contains acreage of wilderness property on Lake Travis, including a mile of Lake Travis frontage, rolling hills, wildlife – including wild turkeys, foxes, deer, and rare birds, like the Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler – and a hiking trail to our famous scenic overlook, which has been the site of many proposals throughout the years. Warm fire places and bonfire pits make for ample s’more roasting during the winter months, while canoe rides and refreshing trips down our water slides give guests a chance to cool off during those hot Texas summers.